US Transportation Regulations

Various US government agencies are involved in the development and enforcement of transportation regulations.  

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), an agency in the United States Department of Transportation, develops and enforces data-driven regulations that balance motor carrier (truck and bus companies) safety with efficiency. FMCSA harnesses safety information systems to focus on higher-risk carriers in enforcing the safety regulations. It also targets educational messages to carriers, commercial drivers, and the public; and partners with stakeholders including federal, state, and local enforcement agencies, the motor carrier industry, safety groups, and organized labor to reduce bus and truck-related crashes.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports state and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the nation's highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program).

The mission of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is to “ensure a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices.”

The FMC achieves these goals by reviewing and monitoring agreements among ocean common carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) serving the U.S.-foreign ocean-borne trades to ensure that they do not cause substantial increases in transportation costs or decreases in transportation services. The FMC also maintains and reviews confidentially filed service contracts and Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) Service Arrangements in order to guard against detrimental effects to shipping.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods. FRA exercises its responsibilities for regulating the safety of the nation's railroad system and development of intercity passenger rail through legislative rules; non-legislative rules (‘interpretive rules and policy statements), and management and procedural Rules.

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that deals with waterborne transportation. Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. MARAD works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is the US governmental body with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation in the US and in its surrounding international waters. Its powers include the construction and operation of airports, air traffic management, the certification of personnel and aircraft, and the protection of U.S. assets during the launch or re-entry of commercial space vehicles.

 

06 Nov 2019
The number of speeding violations handed to US truck drivers jumped 7.8 percent in 2018, but speeding has been a problem since long before that. Shippers need to help solve it.
04 Nov 2019
A group of agricultural exports blames ocean carriers and terminal operators for creating crippling terminal congestion and then profiting off the problem.
31 Oct 2019
Stakeholders in the container shipping industry are debating how demurrage clocks should begin, when they should be suspended, and when it’s fair and unfair to assess penalties to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs).
16 Sep 2019
The US Department of Agriculture has approved nine new locations for its longstanding in-transit cold treatment program in the southern and western parts of the country.
06 Sep 2019
The Federal Maritime Commission agreed to the recommendations stemming from a year-and-half effort led by Commissioner Rebecca Dye to address complaints from cargo owners and drayage drivers over what they considered unfair fees for failing to pick up cargo and return equipment in a timely manner.
05 Sep 2019
The California state legislature is on track to pass a bill, which the governor intends to sign into law, that could fundamentally alter the relationship between shippers, trucking companies, and port truck drivers. It's expected to be signed before an intermodal conference this month in Long Beach.
19 Aug 2019
Proposed hours-of-service reforms -- though well-intentioned -- are a “catastrophe waiting to happen” for the US trucking sector, according to one interested observer.
06 Aug 2019
Trucking companies are warning shippers that a regulation requiring fleets to switch from automatic on-board recording devices to electronic-logging devices in December could slow productivity more than some realize.
26 Jul 2019
A recent uptick in pest presence in properly treated and marked wood packaging materials (WPM) has US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) rethinking its ISPM 15 enforcement policies.
CBP inspections have uncovered a rash of properly treated and stamped shipments of inbound wood packaging materials (WPM) cargo that nonetheless harbored dangerous wood-boring beetles.
25 Jul 2019
Violations of ISPM 15, which maintains strict guidelines for treatment of all wood packaging materials (WPM) to prevent the accidental introduction of invasive pests, can result in the re-exportation of entire shipments of goods and large fines, even if importers and carriers have followed the regulations to the best of their abilities.
22 Jul 2019
US importers say they face a lack of alternatives, feedback, and proactive sourcing information from enforcement officials when treated and apparently compliant wood packaging materials (WPM) fail ISPM 15 inspection.
28 Jun 2019
Truckers using older electronic logging technology should switch to ELDs now, and not wait for a December deadline, the head of the US truck safety watchdog agency said.
08 Apr 2019
Trucking operators and shippers should be keeping a close eye on the implementation of a National Drug and Alcohol Driver Database and other potential regulatory changes that will affect available capacity.
07 Mar 2019
BCOs are taking a more proactive approach to avoid incurring demurrage-detention penalties, setting clear terms in ocean carrier contracts and even negotiating directly with terminals.
01 Mar 2019
The DOT OIG's audit of FMCSA medical certification procedures and examiners is one example of how federal regulators are cracking down on truck and bus drivers in an effort to keep unqualified drivers off the road and reduce accidents and fatalities.
A truck travels in the United States.
21 Jan 2019
The 2019 regulatory schedule isn’t clear, but what is clear is that there will be many more hours of debate over truck driver hours of service.
A truck travels on a US road.
15 Jan 2019
Even owner-operators work under ‘contracts of employment,’ the US Supreme Court said, which means claims of misclassification, ‘stolen wages,’ can’t be forced into arbitration.
YRC Worldwide.
14 Dec 2018
The lawsuit stems from a long-running dispute and investigation into reweighing of military freight.
A truck travels on a US highway.
07 Dec 2018
The FMCSA published 10 decisions rejecting petitions for ELD exemptions Friday, a sign the agency has drawn a sharp line when it comes to pleas for relief from the year-old rule. Instead, expect more focus on the hours of service rules themselves.
An Federal Maritime Commission meeting.
28 Nov 2018
To some shippers, the World Shipping Council’s (WSC) petition, filed Sept. 11 to the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), looks like a recipe for uncompetitive behavior. For the industry, represented by the WSC, it is an attempt to move away from bureaucratic practices, cut costs, and become more dynamic.
Port of Oakland.
16 Nov 2018
The administration Thursday announced the appointment of Daniel Maffei, whose five-year term expired in June, and Louis Sola, who has served on the Florida Board of Pilot Commissioners, and is president and founder of Evermarine, a major yacht dealer, for Federal Maritime Commission positions.
Port of New York and New Jersey.
03 Oct 2018
The port authority, after discussions with rule-implementer the New Jersey Department of Labor, is disseminating detailed information to truckers on the new rules, which the authority believes will have little impact on the drayage fleet and won’t affect many truckers.
A truck travels in the state of Washington, United States.
05 Jul 2018
A petition calling for a ‘small business’ exemption to the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate has failed, and that means the ELD era has become more entrenched.
A truck hauing cargo at the Port of Los Angeles.
26 Jun 2018
There are still differences of opinion among stakeholders regarding the equity of the proposed system for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
A truck travels on a US highway.
26 Jun 2018
The number of hours truckers may drive is getting more attention from Congress, but do bills calling for reform, or the overturn of the electronic logging device mandate, stand a chance this year?
A truck travels on a US highway.
26 Jun 2018
In this Notebook — Electronic logging devices, the US House of Representative's proposed HOURS act, and more about blockchain.
California US truck stop.
20 Jun 2018
A coalition of trade groups wants Congress to advance a controversial plan that would get younger truck drivers on the road. Can they gain traction?
Trucks travel on a US highway.
31 May 2018
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Thursday provided guidance on when drivers can use trucks for personal conveyance, among other guidance areas.
Truck on a US road.
09 Apr 2018
Full enforcement of the electronic logging device mandate began April 1, but inspectors issued a slew of violations in early 2018, federal data show.
Matson container ship
08 Feb 2018
Consumers in Puerto Rico actually benefit from lower freight rates in the efficient Jones Act services that are marked by dedicated vessels and terminals, versus foreign-flag services to other Caribbean islands, Matson CEO Matt Cox said.
09 Jan 2018
From its roots in the chaotic trucking world of the 1970s, Johnston built the OOIDA into an organization of about 160,000 members operating more than 300,000 trucks.
31 Dec 2017
Implementing electronic logging in 2018 will not be easy and may spark a review of truck driver work rules.
13 Dec 2017
The federal truck safety watchdog agency and its state partners have chosen to “phase in” enforcement of the mandate, with the FMCSA granting several, temporary delays or partial exemptions.
08 Dec 2017
The upcoming electronic logging device mandate could affect more than truck capacity available to shippers.
06 Dec 2017
Owner-operators and small carriers opposed to electronic logging are still hoping for a last-minute reprieve.
01 Dec 2017
Shippers need to prepare for the impact.